I’ll admit not having college football would leave a void in my life.
Because even without a horse in the race, I latch on to the most fun teams and players every year. There’s something fun about getting lost in games as a neutral party.
But if there aren’t college football games this fall, the NFL seems prepared to step in and fill the void:
ESPN’s Adam Schefter explains how the NFL could shift its schedule to add games on Saturdays. Heck, even Fridays (if it comes to it). The reasoning makes sense. Networks need programming. The NFL could provide it. Boom! Simple.
On the surface, moving games to other days of the week is a win-win for the league and its partners. Lightening the Sunday load could provide more eyes on spotlight games on Sunday afternoon. It could also bring in another primetime game should the league follow its normal, late-season Saturday schedule. For instance, the NFL could play games at noon, 3:30 PM, and 7:15 PM CT. All things considered, it could be huge for the NFL to have action on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
The league would have a true grip on the television calendar if no college football comes to pass. That is, of course, unless the XFL throws its hat in the ring.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio pitches the idea of the XFL jumping into the fray if college football isn’t played.
It’s a heckuva concept, to be sure. Florio suggests an XFL “bubble” with 8-16 teams featuring the best college players who opt out or draft-eligible in 2021. It’s a simple concept, too. Bring in top talent. Pay them. Then put them on FOX, ABC, ESPN, or whatever network willing to showcase the games. Bubbles are proving to be the safest way to play professional sports right now. And one that fills programming hours and give scouts film ahead of next year’s draft would be welcome. Again, this could be a winning situation for all parties.
Of course, it’s not that easy. No official announcement has come down regarding college football. Even if college football was axed, I’m unsure how quickly the XFL could create a functioning bubble environment. And let’s not forget about the challenges of recruiting top players and convincing them to play in XFL 3.0.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the worst idea. In fact, it’s one of the better ones I’ve read in some time. And while feasible on paper, there are plenty of hurdles to clear before this one comes to life.